Stocks Fall as Apple Adds to Earnings Queasiness; Oil Retreats
- Crude slumps on signs Russia won’t join OPEC output cuts
- Lloyds disappoints, miners retreat; Gucci owner surges
A barrage of earnings from bellwethers including Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Apple Inc. left stocks lower around the world, with weaker crude prices doing little to help equities’ cause.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index headed for its fourth day without a gain and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid from a two-week high. Apple, the world’s largest company, fell in premarket New York trading after an uninspiring outlook. Crude oil sank to a three-week low as Russia said it wouldn’t join output cuts planned by OPEC, while U.S. natural gas futures fell a sixth day. Mexico’s peso fell after a poll showed Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton in Florida. The Aussie rose by the most in a week as a pickup in inflation curbed speculation interest rates will be cut. European government bonds retreated.
“There is a little of a risk-off mood at the moment,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland. “The weaker earnings from Apple are an excuse to sell the market.”
Stocks have barely moved since Alcoa Inc. kicked off the reporting season two weeks ago as U.S. and European earnings failed to offer clear cause for optimism. While Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. beat forecasts, disappointing results from Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Daimler AG and Caterpillar Inc., among others, have muddied the outlook for global growth. That leaves earnings from companies including Amazon.com Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Volkswagen AG in focus this week. Exacerbating the uncertainty: skepticism about major oil producers’ ability to agree output cuts.
Still, concern over the outcomes of the U.S. presidential election and Federal Reserve policy — which had weighed on financial markets — has eased. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s GFSI Market Risk Index — a measure of future price swings implied by options trading on global equities, interest rates, currencies and commodities — has fallen to the lowest since 2014. Clinton’s odds of victory in next month’s vote are close to the highest on record at 86.5 percent, according to forecaster FiveThirtyEight, and futures trading indicates a 73 percent chance of a U.S. interest-rate hike by December.
The Stoxx 600 lost 0.8 percent at 11:56 a.m. in London. The equity gauge has failed to post a daily increase since Thursday as investor sentiment oscillates on mixed earnings. Energy producers slipped with oil Wednesday, while miners declined after reaching their highest prices since August of last year.
- Lloyds fell as much as 3.8 percent, before paring losses, as Britain’s largest mortgage lender posted a slide in profit after taking a charge to compensate customers who were wrongly sold loan insurance.
- Vinci SA dropped 1.8 percent, dragging construction companies lower, as its revenue fell.
- Bayer AG retreated 2.5 percent as its prescription-drugs unit, which is at risk of being sidelined after the takeover of Monsanto Co., spurred better-than-forecast earnings.
- Heineken NV fell 3.1 percent as Exane BNP Paribas noted that, while its third-quarter volumes beat forecasts, the “whisper” consensus estimate was probably higher than the official one.
- Kering SA, the owner of Gucci, led retailers to the best performance of the Stoxx 600’s 19 industry groups, rallying 8.1 percent after posting its fastest sales growth since 2012.
- Logitech International SA jumped 12 percent as the Swiss electronics manufacturer beat earnings and revenue projections.
S&P 500 Index futures slipped 0.4 percent, indicating U.S. equities will extend losses after falling Tuesday as consumer confidence data and results from fast-food chains to makers of appliances, sports apparel and home-renovation products, disappointed.
Apple lost 3 percent in premarket New York trading after its holiday-sales forecast disappointed investors expecting it to take greater advantage of Samsung Electronics Co.’s smartphone woes.
Coca-Cola Co., the world’s largest soft-drink company, posted third-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. Investors will also look to companies including Boeing Co. and State Street Corp. Wednesday for further indications of the health of corporate America.
Energy companies led declines on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which slipped 0.2 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong slid 1.4 percent, led by an 11 percent drop in Great Wall Motor Co. after recommendation downgrades. South Korea’s Kospi index declined 1.1 percent after Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. tumbled 5.1 percent on mounting concern the shipbuilding industry faces more job cuts.
“We continue to be in a wait-and-see mode as earnings are released, and small changes in sentiment are moving the market,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager with Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo.
Crude oil slid 1.4 percent to $49.24 a barrel in New York. Output cuts aren’t an option for Russia, the nation’s envoy to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said, according to Interfax. American supplies rose by 4.75 million barrels last week, industry data showed before Wednesday’s release of official figures.
U.S. natural gas futures extended their decline to a seven-week low before Energy Information Administration data on Thursday that’s forecast to show fuel inventories probably grew last week. Warmer-than-normal temperatures are also expected through most of the U.S. from Oct. 30-Nov. 4, reducing demand for heating.
Aluminum in Shanghai jumped as much as 5.2 percent to its highest level since 2014, extending a rebound on speculation that transport bottlenecks may have created a shortage for some users in China. The metal rose 0.8 percent in London.
French electricity for delivery next month soared to a record after Electricite de France SA and the nation’s nuclear safety authority said that investigations at a third of the country’s 58 atomic reactors would unveil new anomalies. EDF’s reactors supply almost three quarters of France’s power.
The Australian dollar strengthened 0.5 percent versus the greenback, the best performance among major currencies. In the last quarter, consumer prices in Australia increased 1.3 percent from a year earlier, exceeding the previous period’s 1 percent gain.
Australia’s two-year bond yield increased by two percentage points to a one-week high of 1.69 percent. The probability that the central bank will cut interest rates by mid-2017 dropped to 29 percent in the swaps market, from 37 percent on Tuesday.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 percent, extending Tuesday’s retreat from a seven-month high. The euro strengthened 0.3 percent. Mexico’s peso weakened 0.6 percent as a Bloomberg poll showed support for Trump at 45 percent in Florida, compared with 43 percent for Clinton.
Germany, Italy and Portugal sold bonds amid renewed speculation that the European Central Bank will extend its asset-purchase program after President Mario Draghi said last week that officials didn’t discuss tapering at their policy meeting. It’s the first sale for Portugal since DBRS Ltd. maintained the nation’s credit rating as investment grade, securing eligibility of its debt for the ECB’s quantitative-easing plan.
Italian 10-year bonds led a decline among euro-area securities as the region auctioned 5.5 billion euros ($6 billion) of sovereign debt. Italy’s 10-year bond yields climbed six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 1.45 percent, the highest since June 28. Benchmark German 10-year bund yields rose four basis points to 0.074 percent.
The U.S will auction $34 billion of five-year nominal notes and $15 billion of two-year floating-rate debt.
The yield on U.S. Treasuries due in a decade rose one basis point to 1.77 percent. American sovereign debt is saddling investors with losses for the third month in a row as speculation mounts that inflation will quicken and the Fed will boost interest rates.
“The cyclical low for inflation rates has almost certainly passed,” said Peter Jolly, the global head of markets research at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney, who predicts headline consumer-price gains in the U.S. will rise above 3 percent early next year if oil prices remain at current levels. “That will help change market perceptions of inflation ahead, and put to rest deflation fears for now.”
Mozambique’s bonds tumbled after the African nation, home to some of the world’s richest gas reserves, said it will need to restructure its debts. Notes due 2023 fell six cents to 58 cents on the dollar, sending the yield to 24 percent.
China’s 10-year government bonds fell for a third day amid concern policy makers are looking to increase scrutiny of wealth-management products, a move that would curb the flow of funds to the debt market.